Monday, November 14, 2016

ROAD TO MOSUL - Civilian Executions

"ISIS executes civilians as Iraqi forces gain ground in Mosul" PBS NewsHour 11/12/2016


SUMMARY:  As Iraqi forces continue to gain ground in Mosul against Islamic State militants, thousands of residents are attempting to flee the city.  The United Nations reports that ISIS is carrying out mass executions of civilians.  Alex Milutinovic, who is directing relief efforts in Iraq for the International Rescue Committee, joins Alison Stewart to discuss the plight of those civilians.

ALISON STEWART, PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND ANCHOR:  Iraq's government says its security forces, with U.S. support, reclaimed two more districts in Mosul today from ISIS militants.  This footage released today by the Iraqi defense ministry shows helicopter attacks on ISIS positions to dislodge militants who have occupied Iraq's second largest city for two years.  The defense ministry says it has destroyed more than 40 ISIS hideouts and killed about 900 militants in the past month.

As thousands of Mosul residents try to flee the city, the United Nations reports ISIS is carrying out mass executions of civilians.

Joining me now to talk about this is Alex Milutinovic, who is directing relief efforts in Iraq for the International Rescue Committee.  He is in the Iraqi city of Erbil, about 50 miles east of Mosul.

And, Alex, we understand from the World Health Organization, as many as 48,000 people have fled Mosul.  Where are they going?

ALEKSANDAR MILUTINOVIC, INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE:  At the moment, we have over 50,000 people that have fled the surrounding of Mosul City.  Most of the people, two-thirds of them, are leaving towards the camps and the remaining one third of people are living with host community.

ALISON STEWART:  Is the Islamic State allowing people to leave?  Because there have been reports that the idea is to use civilians — their idea is to use civilians as human shields.

ALEKSANDAR MILUTINOVIC:  Unfortunately, the civilians are not allowed to leave the Mosul City.  They are being used as a human shield and our concern goes to the people of Mosul City who are now trapped in a very difficult situation.  They are basically trapped between the — you know, in the fighting zone and they have a hard time fleeing and finding safety.

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